Intellectual Stalinism of Science Establishment Revealed
Wesley J. Smith
This story from the Washington Post does not directly involve the issues about which I advocate. But it reveals a mindset that I see on a continuing basis. An editor of a science journal connected with the Smithsonian decided to publish an article by Steven Meyer on the theory of intelligent design. (Meyer is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, as am I. We are friends.) The article was peer reviewed and the reviewers agreed that it had scientific merit and should be published.
As soon as the article was published, the long knives came out. The editor was subjected to vicious attempts to ruin his professional career. Strident demands were made that he be fired. Lies were told, his personal life was investigated, false rumors were circulated, accusations were even made that he was on the take and had not actually had the article peer reviewed. All false, as revealed by a government investigation.
I have been told numerous times of the same tactics being threatened or employed against heterodox thinkers in the human cloning controversy. Scientists who want to testify in favor of a ban on all human cloning are warned that if they do, their careers are over, that they will be branded "anti-science" and no longer be invited to participate in seminars or write book chapters. If they don't have tenure, they will never get it. If they do, they will be shunned, shunted to a corner and forced to teach "punishment" freshman classes, rather than their usual advanced or post grad courses. (This happened to Dr. David Prentice at Indiana State University.)
This is the point: The leaders of science have become woefully ideological, to the point that they are willing to stifle discourse and crush academic freedom. In the end, they won't succeed in insulating their views from criticism. But they could destroy the good reputation of science as a venerable field, and transform it into being perceived by a weary public as merely another area of special interest advocacy.